I'm Morvern Cunningham, a freelance arts producer based in Edinburgh and currently working on a variety of projects Scotland-wide. As I noted in my (rather rowdy!) acceptance speech back in November, I was really proud to have been shortlisted and even more to win, the Creative Edinburgh Independent Award 2016. I think the Independent Award is a particularly special award because it specifically recognises the vital contribution that creative businesses, sole traders and freelancers make to the cultural sector, and especially to the creative make-up of the city of Edinburgh. This unique and entrepreneurial contribution forms the backbone of the creative sector, from underground grassroots activity to high-flying production companies, championed in the main by those grafters who face an often precarious career path with no guarantee of regular income.
It's important at this stage to acknowledge the valuable support and opportunities that Creative Edinburgh offers to its members and attendees, many of which are creative freelancers themselves. The organisation doesn't just offer the opportunity to be recognised by your peers and to have a good ol' knees up at the annual Awards bash, but Creative Edinburgh also provides a myriad of networking and learning opportunities throughout the year via a series of regular and one-off events and workshops. I really value the support that Creative Edinburgh has offered me to date, and can no longer imagine the city (and its creatives) without it. If you're not a member, or haven't attended an event yet (NB you don't have to be a member to attend), check out the website and get yourself to something this year!
I'd like to end this piece (as I did my speech) with this inspirational quote: Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.
(Now, I don't want folk to think I'm suggesting that working on someone else's vision is a bad thing per se, merely extolling the fact that it's a helluva lot more satisfying to work on your own ideas and projects, and to be able to see them right through to fruition.) So saying, I wish you all the very best of luck for your projects in 2017!
The LeithLate17 festival returns this June, keep an eye on the website and social media for details. Morvern is also working on the Grow Your Own Cinema project and Glasgow Short Film Festival this year and 2017 also sees the return of projects KinoKlub and Leith Creative. She attended the Creative Edinburgh workshop 'Create your best year yet!' on 19th January at Codebase as, just like everyone else, she's making it up as she goes along.